Saturday, 13 September 2014

Massage Chair Couple Guilty Of Violent Ideal Home Show Attack On Business Rival

Guilty: Anthony & Tingting Barlow Evans
Animosity between rival massage chair dealers at the Ideal Home Show erupted into violence when one trader couple attacked a prospective investor on their competitor's stand -reigning down blows on the businesswoman's head and face.

Company boss Anthony Barlow Evans, 59, and his wife Tingting Barlow Evans, 33, who run Oakdale Furniture Ltd. were exhibiting at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre event and claim their staff were abused by rivals Sasaki International Ltd.

The Barlow Evans', of Willow Street, Ellesmere, Shropshire sell their Japanese-imported chairs and foot massagers all over the UK - attending 50 events a year - and are in direct competition with Milton Keynes- based Sasaki, of Waterside Park, Old Wolverton Road.

They were convicted at City of London Magistrates Court of assaulting 35 year-old Yuling Chen on March 20 and Mr. Barlow Evans was fined £750 and his wife £500. Each were ordered to pay £620 costs and £150 compensation to the victim.

District Judge Margaret Coleman announced: "You, Mr. Barlow Evans, perpetrated a serious assault on Miss Chen and you, Mrs. Barlow Evans, helped in that assault. Your arms were moving and flailing about.

Yuling Chen and injuries to her right arm
"Whatever the hostility between you and Miss Chen certainly spilled over that day and the force used by you, Mr. Barlow Evans, was not reasonable, there was repeated punching to her head.

"Miss Chen was not retaliating in any way, both of her arms were being held, and her head was down to protect herself. You were both perpetrators of this assault. Emotions overflowed that day."

Mr. Barlow Evans had approached Sasaki's booth and told the firm's boss, Kelvin Choong, 48, who was standing by a 'FLABeLOS' machine,: "Ask your dogs to f*** off my stand," the court heard.

Mr Barlow Evans, whose main booth rent for the nineteen-day event was estimated to be £70,000,  told the court: "I had received reports from our massage chair stand that they were getting a degree of intimidation."

He said there was a "history" between the companies from 2010, accusing Sasaki staff as posing as prospective customers, "provoking" his employees and taking photographs of his customers so he decided to approach Mr. Choong.

"I wanted to stop the attacks, stop the verbal abuse that had been going on," added the defendant, whose claims are denied by Mr. Choong. 

"I said: 'It's time to call the dogs off. We're here to do a job, to make money," explained Mr. Barlow Evans. "He was dismissive and went to point at my face so I knocked his hand away."

Fifty Trade Shows a Year: The Barlow Evans'
A member of the Oakdale team was video recording the early stages of the confrontation and District Judge Coleman said: "You can see there was mutual pushing, but the first push came from you Mr. Barlow Evans.

"Miss Chen came to try and separate you both and what is clear to me is her arm going out to try and separate you."

The victim shouted: "Stop fighting. Go away," and: "You bitch. Get off our stand," seconds before she was attacked, initially by Mr. Barlow Evans, who was then joined by his wife.   

"He had her hair wrapped around his hand and was punching her vigourously," said Miss Alexandra Jemarifo, who was demonstrating beauty products on a nearby booth. "I didn't see her fight back.

"There were at least ten punches if not more, it was quite rapid, on her head and face. 

Minutes after beating: Yuling Chan
"She had bruises on her face and on her arms. Scratches and rough marks."

Prosecutor Miss Catherine Picardo told the court: "This was a set-up, this was not acting in self-defence. This was two on one and rather than walk away they've held this woman down so she couldn't defend herself."

Mr. Barlow Evans maintained his innocence, claiming: "Miss Chen grabbed me and I grabbed her right hand. I was amazed by her aggression," claiming the woman ripped his cashmere jumper.

"Her other hand scratched my neck and arm and she tried to bite me.

"I've never been in trouble previously. I've never been in a fight in my life."

Mrs Barlow Evans told the court: "She was grabbing him and trying to bite him. I was in shock.

"My hair was pulled and I was kicked in my left shin by Miss Chen and reacted by pulling her hair as I lost my balance and fell down."

The Barlow Evans', who told the court they each earn only £300 per week, were also ordered to pay victim surcharges totalling £125.

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